Intraday market making with overnight inventory costs
The U.S. Treasury market is highly intermediated by nonbank principal trading ﬁrms (PTFs). Limited capital forces PTFs to end the trading day roughly ﬂat. We construct a continuous time market making model to analyze the trade-oﬀ faced by a proﬁt-maximizing ﬁrm with overnight inventory costs, and develop closed-form representations of the optimal price policy functions. Our model reveals that bid-ask spreads widen as the end of the trading day approaches, and that increases in order arrival rates do not always lead to higher price volatility. Our empirical analysis shows that ...
Changes in the Returns to Market Making
Since the financial crisis, major U.S. banking institutions have increased their capital ratios in response to tighter capital requirements. Some market analysts have asserted that the higher capital and liquidity requirements are driving up the costs of market making and reducing market liquidity. If regulations were, in fact, increasing the cost of market making, one would expect to see a rise in the expected returns to that activity. In this post, we estimate market-making returns in equity and corporate bond markets to assess the impact of regulations.
Global variance term premia and intermediary risk appetite
Sellers of variance swaps earn time-varying risk premia for their exposure to realized variance, the level of variance swap rates, and the slope of the variance swap curve. To measure risk premia, we estimate a dynamic term structure model that decomposes variance swap rates into expected variances and term premia. Empirically, we document a strong global factor structure in variance term premia across the U.S., U.K., Europe, and Japan. We further show that variance term premia are negatively correlated with the risk appetite of hedge funds, broker-dealers, and mutual funds. Our results ...
Global price of risk and stabilization policies
We estimate a highly significant price of risk that forecasts global stock and bond returns as a nonlinear function of the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX). We show that countries? exposure to the global price of risk is related to macroeconomic risks as measured by output, credit, and inflation volatility, the magnitude of financial crises, and stock and bond market downside risk. Higher exposure to the global price of risk corresponds to both higher output volatility and higher output growth. We document that the transmission of the global price of risk to macroeconomic outcomes is mitigated by ...
An index of Treasury Market liquidity: 1991-2017
Order book and transactions data from the U.S. Treasury securities market are used to calculate daily measures of bid-ask spreads, depth, and price impact for a twenty-six-year sample period (1991-2017). From these measures, a daily index of Treasury market liquidity is constructed, reflecting the fact that the varying measures capture different aspects of market liquidity. The liquidity index is then correlated with various metrics of funding liquidity, volatility, and macroeconomic conditions. The liquidity index points to poor liquidity during the 2007-09 financial crisis and around the ...
What's Driving Dealer Balance Sheet Stagnation?
Securities brokers and dealers (“dealers”) engage in the business of trading securities on behalf of their customers and for their own account, and use their balance sheets primarily for trading operations, particularly for market making. Total financial assets of dealers in the United States have not shown any growth since 2009. This stagnation in their balance sheets raises the worry that dealers’ market-making capacity could be constrained, adversely affecting market liquidity. In this post, we investigate the stagnation of dealer balance sheets, focusing particularly on the boom and ...
Has Liquidity Risk in the Treasury and Equity Markets Increased?
Market participants have argued that market liquidity has deteriorated since the financial crisis. However, inspection of common metrics such as bid-ask spreads, market depth, and price impact do not show pronounced reductions in liquidity compared with precrisis levels. In this post, we argue that recent changes in liquidity conditions may best be described in terms of heightened liquidity risk, as opposed to general declines in liquidity levels. We propose a measure that shows liquidity risk has risen in equity and Treasury markets and discuss some factors behind the increase.
Did Third Avenue's Liquidation Reduce Corporate Bond Market Liquidity?
The announced liquidation of Third Avenue’s high-yield Focused Credit Fund (FCF) on December 9, 2015, drew widespread attention and reportedly sent ripples through asset markets. Events of this kind have the potential to increase the demand for market liquidity, as investors revise expectations, reassess risk exposures, and fulfill the need to trade. Moreover, portfolio effects and general fears of contagion may increase the demand for liquidity in assets only remotely related to a liquidating firm’s direct holdings. In this post, we examine whether FCF’s announced liquidation affected ...
Corporate Bond Market Liquidity Redux: More Price-Based Evidence
In a recent post, we presented some preliminary evidence suggesting that corporate bond market liquidity is ample. That evidence relied on bid-ask spread and price impact measures. The findings generated significant discussion, with some market participants wondering about the magnitudes of our estimates, their robustness, and whether such measures adequately capture recent changes in liquidity. In this post, we revisit these measures to more thoroughly document how they have varied over time and the importance of particular estimation approaches, trade size, trade frequency, and the ...
Has U.S. Treasury Market Liquidity Deteriorated?
The issue of financial market liquidity has received tremendous attention lately. This partly arises from market participants' concerns that regulatory and structural changes have reduced dealers' market making abilities, but also from events such as the taper tantrum and the flash rally, in which Treasury prices fluctuated sharply amid seemingly little news. But is there really evidence of a sustained reduction in Treasury market liquidity?